We all know that babies get vaccination right from the day they are born. Did you know why? Well, the immunity of little ones is quite weak — they easily catch viruses and diseases. Vaccines and supplements play a role in developing their immune system and preventing many deadly disorders.
The vaccine helps in producing antibodies in your munchkin and forms a shield against life-threatening diseases. They are usually recommended between the first 2 years and alleviate the chances of hospitalization. Similarly, a few nutrient alternatives, like iron supplements, are crucial for a baby’s growth. Doctors suggest giving multivitamins, vitamin D, and iron drops to babies after 6 months of age. However, they must be given after the pediatrician’s consultation to avoid complications.
Let’s take a look at the pivotal shots and iron supplements for babies now:
Important Vaccinations For Babies
Babies under 6 months of age receive the BCG vaccine. The BCG vaccine protects against tuberculosis, a disease that kills 1 million people annually. However, the vaccine is not 100% effective.
The DTap vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus toxoids, and acellular pertussis) is given to babies 6 through 11 months of age who have not yet received their first DTaP vaccine. The DTaP vaccine protects against whooping cough, polio, and other diseases.
The Hepatitis B vaccination series is given to babies born in areas where the hepatitis B virus circulates (such as Hawaii). The series consists of 3 vaccines over 4 to 6 months:
HepB- infant series – 0-1 month (birth – 1 month)
HepB- toddler series – 2-6 years old (age 2-6 years)
HepB- adolescent/adult series – 13 years or older (age 13 years or older)
RVV– Rotavirus vaccine
The rotavirus vaccine protects against a disease caused by the rotavirus. This virus is highly contagious and can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in young children. Therefore, it’s recommended that all babies receive this vaccine at birth and again between 12 and 15 weeks of age.
This vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. A nasty kind of bacteria can cause pneumonia, ear infections, meningitis, and death in infants and young children. It’s recommended that all babies receive this vaccine in three phases: 6 weeks, 14 weeks, and 9 months after birth, and then again between 12 and 15 months of age.
The MMR vaccine safeguards your baby against measles, mumps, and rubella. This is important because these diseases are highly contagious and very serious if not treated quickly with antibiotics or antiviral medications. Babies should receive the first dose of MMR as soon as they can swallow food.
List Of Vital Supplements For Babies
Vitamin D is essential for the proper absorption and metabolism of calcium, which is vital to bone health. Babies under 6 months old need 600 IU daily, while babies older than 6 months have higher requirements. So even if your baby gets some sunlight, it’s still a good idea to supplement with vitamin D if you don’t live in the sunniest part of the country.
Iron is essential for babies because they need it for healthy blood production and brain development. Iron deficiency during infancy can cause anemia, leading to learning disabilities later in life. Breastfeeding mothers should be sure to give their babies enough iron-rich foods, such as meat or fish, daily, so they don’t develop iron deficiencies later in life. Also, feed liquid iron supplements to your baby if they aren’t getting enough iron from natural sources.
Calcium is an important mineral that helps with many functions within your body, including muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting (which means it helps protect against heart disease). Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, fortified orange juice, and dark green vegetables such as kale, beans, sesame seeds, and almonds. But small babies cannot eat them enough. So giving them calcium tablets or gummies is a good idea.
The Bottom Line
These were the vital nutrients and vaccines that your little heroes and fairies required in the initial months to achieve optimal development and build a strong immune system.